Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    14,643

    Alignment-Schmalignment. Do i need it after replacing front end?

    So I know the story is that the first thing you do after replacing some front end bits (in this case - both lower control arms and passenger tie rod end) is to get the car aligned to avoid tire damage. And that was the plan. Les Schwab (only game in town) told me their typical rap that if I brought it in by 7 in the morn and left it they could get to it that day (this was Friday). So we went to work, it was hard, but we got it done. I took it in to Les Schwab wednesday afternoon thinking they could do it Thursday. Turns out while we were doing the front end, one of their two alignment techs was getting covid. After two days of the car sitting there I went and grabbed it and now I have an appointment Tuesday in Minden which will be about a 40 mile drive and I will likely put 40 miles on it before then (including 20 so far). It doesn't appear to be pulling at all.

    We were careful to get the torsion bar key screw back to the exact same spot. And we counted the threads on the tie rod end (and adjusted for the new part being 1 mm longer) being careful to get everything back where it was (which may or may not have been aligned). So, after driving 80 miles would there be any way to tell if I actually need to get it aligned? It's only $100 to do it, but Tuesday is also shaping up to be the year's first good powder day so driving off the hill for a mid morning appointment is a kick to the vajayjay.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    837
    Only way to REALLY know for sure is to put a season on the tires in their current configuration and assess the wear then.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    8,505
    Your tires will tell you if you need one. I would still get one done. You could probably wait a little bit but I would drive it as little as possible until then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    9,346
    Lilly’s and that place on Eloise do alignments still right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    14,643
    Lilly's is no more. Eloise hasn't been open since I picked up the car from Les Schwab yesterday afternoon but they open Monday so I'm gonna check.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    11,104
    Yer gonna die.

    But yeah, even if it doesn't pull at all on pavement, if it's misaligned it can make things a bit squirlier on snowy / slippery roads. Worth getting it checked. But if it were me, I'd still drive it like normal in the meantime.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    14,643
    One nice thng about Eloise is they don't do tires so they shouldn't be as slammed as Les Schwab right now.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Breckenridge, CO
    Posts
    229
    It's pretty clear by your post that you did some homework on the subject, and it seems like you did your part to get it close. But that's about the best you could hope for with the current alignment: close. If it was WAAAY off, you may be able to detect some wear patterns indicating the alignment is off by now. But short of putting it on the alignment rack or you really know what you're looking for, it's difficult to pick up until you've started doing some damage to the tires...and to be fair, "damage" is kinda relative...but then you may be an alignment and tires.

    What kind of vehicle are we talking about? There are some cars still being produced that only have toe adjustment (without getting into crash bolts and stuff). If it's a shitbox with shittires, then meh, but it seems like you care about your car so I'd recommend getting it aligned sooner rather than later or else...

    Yer gonna die.

    ETA: just because it isn't pulling doesn't mean your toe angle is good. Incorrect toe angle will eat up tires. And as you probably know (again, seems like you did some reading), the tie rod you replaced is the toe adjustment. But if it was me, I'd still go skiing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    25,470
    back in the day the shop teacher told me to align that car, hands me a tape measure an sez " set it up with an inch of toe-in then we drive it to sears where they will align it properly for 12.95 " ( yes that long ago) we had the alignment tools but apparently sears could do it faster & better for 12.95 $
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    457
    In my experience just because everything is in the same place doesn't mean the alignment numbers stay the exact same. Newer bushings can push things around, part tolerances, etc. I actually prefer driving a bit after replacing parts to help everything settle into place before I bring it in for alignment. But that is just personal preference and may be based on nothing. I drove about 200 miles on my 4runner after swapping out the front suspension entirely before aligning it.

    TL;DR: Go ski Tuesday, get it aligned sometime later in the week and you will be fine. Also yer gonna die.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    7,150
    Quote Originally Posted by davjr96 View Post
    In my experience just because everything is in the same place doesn't mean the alignment numbers stay the exact same. Newer bushings can push things around, part tolerances, etc. I actually prefer driving a bit after replacing parts to help everything settle into place before I bring it in for alignment. But that is just personal preference and may be based on nothing. I drove about 200 miles on my 4runner after swapping out the front suspension entirely before aligning it.

    TL;DR: Go ski Tuesday, get it aligned sometime later in the week and you will be fine. Also yer gonna die.
    Super solid advice. If you did the front end and it drives straight it is not going to jack you up in the snow. Rear toe in or out can cause big problems though. That is where the emergency need to align tends to lie, especially in winter.

    Drive it a bit. Get it aligned when you have time.

    We still haven't aligned the front end of the Subaru my stepson smashed into a median barrier at 65 mph a couple winters ago. Replaced almost all the front end bits in the garage. The stuff that didn't explode at the time exploded over the next couple of years. Things he exploded include but not limited to the tire, the wheel, the wheel bearing, the knuckle, the tie rod, the upper strut mount. The other set of tires we put on after the wreck are still fine, although they are Michelins which tend to last forever no matter how negligent you are. The strut somehow survived.

    Maybe we'll get it aligned. The last time I took it in to get it squared away they needed several hundred dollars to fix something I fixed for $100 and then the Derecho blew their shop down.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Verdi NV
    Posts
    9,421
    When it snows you will find out right away

    If it’s misbehaving on snow when you brake and turn. Get it aligned. If it’s all good. Get it aligned when it’s convenient
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    14,643
    Quote Originally Posted by mr walker View Post
    What kind of vehicle are we talking about? There are some cars still being produced that only have toe adjustment (without getting into crash bolts and stuff). If it's a shitbox with shittires, then meh, but it seems like you care about your car so I'd recommend getting it aligned sooner rather than later or else...
    01 yukon xl with new nice tires. Previous set wore unevenly (both front wore more on the inside) so i took it in for alignment and they told me they couldn't cause of all the looseness. So i don't really know if it was misaligned or the wear was a result of the worn bushings and tie rod
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Breckenridge, CO
    Posts
    229
    Quote Originally Posted by powdork View Post
    01 yukon xl with new nice tires. Previous set wore unevenly (both front wore more on the inside) so i took it in for alignment and they told me they couldn't cause of all the looseness. So i don't really know if it was misaligned or the wear was a result of the worn bushings and tie rod
    That checks out; they would've been setting alignment angles that would've wobbled out of spec as soon as it came off the rack.

    Not sure if camber is adjustable on those trucks, but between worn control arm bushings and a tie rod, it's pretty safe to say your toe was out. Prior to getting the truck aligned, I would recommend you replace the other tie rod too and adjust it just well enough to get you to the shop. You'll then have a complete, fresh front that's aligned, rather than waiting for that "good" tie rod to shit the bed, at which point you would have to get it aligned again.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    14,643
    You're probably right. I was planning on getting two but they only had one at the time and only the $60 version. I was planning on $60 for both so i just replaced the wobbly one and gave the other some love and oil (grease).
    Last edited by powdork; 10-24-2021 at 03:12 AM.
    powdork.com - new and improved, with 20% more dork.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Access to Granlibakken
    Posts
    9,346
    Bummer about Lilly’s, they were the only local place equipped to do alignment on taller vehicles like a van. I got some balancing done there not long ago, no idea that they had closed.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •